Partnership Problem: Power Play

Strategy: Stay focused on the business

Is your partner pushing the boundary to see what they can get away with?  Are they trying to get you to do the bulk of the work? Are they acting like you are an employee, not a partner?  Do they sometimes act more like a child who is not getting their way, than the adult you expected to work with?  Regardless of how they act, you still need to stay focused on the business.

Negative emotions can build up over time and undermine your partnership and the business. It’s important to talk about your concerns and the issues. Listen to your partner, try to understand why they are doing what is so annoying to you. Make every effort to negotiate something that is satisfactory to both of you.

If you haven’t included specific duties and who will be responsible for each in your original business plan, now is the time.  Understand each of you have specific talents and interests. Try to utilize each partner’s strengths where appropriate. Make this your operating plan.  As your business grows, as you learn more about your customers, product and service, and as you each discover more about your abilities and shortcomings you may find it necessary to reassess your division of work… together, as partners determined to succeed in a cut-throat world.

If you missed some of these points in your initial planning stages, and find it difficult or confusing to get the right balance, you may want some help.  Getting a third party involved is a very successful strategy.  If you know folks who have started a business partnership similar to yours, and they are successful… ask for their input, ideas, and help.  If you don’t have such support, I would be happy to become a  sounding board for you. Take a look at my articles on Partnership, the last category in my Business Success Articles archive. Then let me know how I can help.